Playing in the Sandbox

This last week, Karen Friedman, President of Congregation Beth Shalom, and I attended a meeting put together by the Jewish Community Relations Council. This meeting focused on a program run by the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department called the Digital Sandbox. This program is a joint effort of the police and community organizations to help the police and other first responders serve the needs of the community during unusual and stressful times.

Obviously, the recent bomb threats phoned in to the Jewish Community Center would fall into this category.

Through the Digital Sandbox first responders would have at their fingertips information about the organization, the layout of the offices and how to best enter a facility, if necessary. In addition, each organization can let the Digital Sandbox know when special events are occurring and when seasonal programing, such as summer camps, will operate.

The Digital Sandbox is a safety net to help us protect our community.

Congregation Beth Shalom was well represented at this informational meeting, as was one other congregation. But where, oh where, was everyone else? While JCRC did not seem concerned by the sparse turnout – and they do know the community very well – I, on the other hand, was very concerned.  Maybe it was because I moved here from a community where every single congregation was the victim of anti-Semitic vandalism except for our Temple in Gary – and we had a bomb threat. Up north we took this type of behavior very seriously.

The Digital Sandbox sounds to me like an excellent method to protect us, our families and our children.
There is a real threat that we ignore only at our own peril.
He who threatens one of us will eventually threaten all of us.
We do not need to worship in the same way. We do not need to interpret Torah in the same way. But each and every one of us must defend each and every one of us – because we are all we have.

Rabbi Stanley Halpern